New teachers: Six strategies for making your first year more manageable
The first year of teaching can be a difficult time for new teachers. They face the challenges of building relationships with their students, managing their classrooms and self-care; however, there are ways to make the first year more manageable. The office of WVDE Educator Preparation shares six strategies for new teachers.
Begin developing relationships with your students from day one. You can do this by setting time aside in your day to talk with your students. Start each day with a morning meeting that allows students to share things about themselves. It is important to develop relationships with colleagues, administrators, custodians, cooks and other school staff.
One of the hardest things for new teachers is classroom management. Be prepared before school starts with routines and procedures you want your students to follow. Take time at the beginning of the year to teach these routines and procedures to your students. Practice, practice and practice again. When routines are in place, learning can occur.
Keep a healthy balance between school and home. Take time to do fun things for yourself that are not school-related. When you take care of yourself, then you are ready to take care of your students.
Do not be afraid to ask your school administration, other teachers or school staff questions. Teaching is a collaborative profession. We expect our students to ask questions to gain knowledge, so it is okay for teachers to do the same to learn and grow.
The first year of teaching can be hectic. Begin taking time each day to reflect on your practice. Writing down your struggles and successes will help you improve your practice. It can also be a great way to see growth throughout the year. Keeping a journal allows teachers to decide what and how to teach and what they can do to improve the learning environment.
Observing other teachers is a great way to learn instructional strategies and classroom management techniques. Seasoned teachers often have perfected classroom techniques. Observing others can give new teachers ideas for their own classrooms. Do not be afraid to ask your school administrator for time to observe other teachers, or you can arrange a time during your planning.
For more first-year teacher resources, contact the Office of Educator Preparation at (304) 558-3119.
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